Far from affecting only the terminally ill or the person in extreme suffering, euthanasia has become a free-for-all.
Consider recent cases that have shocked the world. There was a transsexual euthanized after a sex change operation, because he didn’t want to be a monster. Belgian twins were euthanized, not because they were suffering or dying, but because they were going blind. And at least two women suffering from mental illness – anorexia and depression – have been killed as well. These are just the stories that have made international news.
So it shouldn’t be surprising that the Belgian Senate is going to be voting on a bill next week that will allow the euthanasia of children, where it is expected to pass.
via Live Action News.
Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who survived an assassination attempt in 2011, is set to tour a New York gun show, the first such visit since she was shot.
Giffords and husband Mark Kelly, a former combat pilot and astronaut, are scheduled to be with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman at the Saratoga Springs Arms Fair on Sunday to highlight a voluntary agreement and stricter state gun control law.
It will be latest event by Giffords and Kelly in their national campaign for expanded background checks for gun sales.
Some people may blame guns for what happened to Giffords, but I blame the fact that, although Loughner was known to have serious mental health issues, the law prevented any of the many people who saw the problem from being able to solve that problem.
People tried to get this man help. The real scandal is that they could not do so.
Before Miriam Carey drove her car into a White House gate, led police on a car chase to the Capitol, and was shot dead to protect public safety, her boyfriend tried to prevent it from ever happening.
According to CNN, he “contacted police in December saying he feared for the safety of their child, who was 4 months old at the time. The boyfriend said the woman was acting delusional, claiming the president had placed Stamford under lockdown and that her house was under electronic surveillance.” He thought she had post-partum depression, but police found medications for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression in her home.
The most likely scenario is that Miriam was not taking the medications or they weren’t working. Either way, someone who was dangerous was on the streets.
We know how to stop this. What we need is mandatory and monitored community treatment for those known to have serious mental illness and a history of dangerousness, incarceration, or needless repeated hospitalizations.
Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) is a court order to stay in treatment as a condition of living in the community. To be eligible, individuals must have serious mental illness and a past history of dangerousness, incarceration, or needless hospitalizations caused by going off effective treatments. The decision is made by a judge, and only after consulting with the patient, their lawyer and observing full due process. Other protections ensure it is rarely used, is time limited, and is not abused.
According to media reports, Miriam Carey had a prior psychiatric hospitalization and acted dangerously toward her four-month-old child. While not enough is known yet, she may have been eligible for AOT. But Connecticut, where she lived, does not have an AOT law.
New York State has the largest and most studied program, called Kendra’s Law. Studies found those enrolled in Kendra’s Law are four times less likely to engage in future violence than those in a control group. Other New York studies found it reduced homelessness by 74 percent; suicide attempts, 55 percent; substance abuse, 48 percent; physical harm to others, 47 percent; property destruction, 43 percent; hospitalization, 77 percent; arrests, 83 percent; and incarceration, 87 percent. These results are consistent with those in other localities that use it.
By reducing the use of jails and locked psych wards as treatment settings, AOT saves a lot of money even accounting for the increased costs for court proceedings, case management, and prescriptions…
Why not? They’ve made every other aspect of your life their concern, including your body itself. Why not your mind?
The federal government is studying how to use Twitter for surveillance on depressed people.
The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) began a study financed by the National Institutes of Health last month that will provide “population level depression monitoring” through the social media site.
The project, “Utilizing Social Media as a Resource for Mental Health Surveillance,” is costing taxpayers $82,800…
The researchers will create algorithms to determine if people are depressed through their tweets, which they hope will serve as a basis for monitoring mental illness. They will also engage with depressed individuals on Twitter directly.
And then what? Tell them to get the hell off Twitter?…
via The Daily Caller.
Our system of government operates on certain principles: guaranteed liberties, checks & balances, constrained government, and so on.
The entire idea of “experts” acting on behalf of people who “need” – or, even more slippery, “could benefit from” – help is a convenient way to bypass all of that.
Yes, we do have an obligation to protect both ourselves from mentally ill people, and to provide mentally ill people with care if they are not in a position to take care of themselves. But we also need to recognize that this is an awesome power – the power to appropriate someone’s right to self-governance, really.
The history of the 20th century provides far too many examples of how “mental health treatment” can be used to abuse and control. We need to learn from the past: mental health intervention needs to be balanced with adequate protections against abuse.
If we, the populace, have now lost the right to expect that our daughters will not have to share a bathroom with little boys, I think there are two issues that we need to demand clarification on, before we just passively accept this huge change in the boundary-line between private and public. We need:
1. A definition of sex and gender that is grounded in science rather than ideology
Science has the obligation to inform us about facts, but not the right to demand we accept ideological value judgments. What we are seeing is not “fact”. We don’t even have a consistent definition of what gender is or whether it matters: the mental health “experts” who are quick to insist that Coy Mathis will experience some really awful, negative consequence if he’s forced to acknowledge his male body are the same people who insist there’s nothing wrong with gay people deliberately making children motherless or fatherless – because sex and gender are apparently so unimportant to children that one can swap out a mother for a father with no loss at all involved. The rule seems to be “if it involves destroying a sexual boundary, then it must be right”. That’s consistent with the ideological goals of the so-called sexual revolution (which describes the destruction of sexual boundaries as “liberating”) but when science is separated from ideology (GIGO) the arguments are far less compelling.
Coy was diagnosed with “gender identification disorder” a mental ailment that the American Psychiatric Association, after years of lobbying from some advocacy groups, removed from its lists of mental ailments. The main objection those groups had been that the treatment consisted of getting the patient to accept its biological designation, that the designation of a mental disease would cause undue stigma and it would reinforce the binary model of gender in society. This last items is something the advocacy groups strongly reject, and are advocating against.
This is dripping with irony because by rejecting “boy things” in order to wear dresses, have long hair, play with dolls you are reinforcing male to female stereotypes…
2. A definition of “mental illness” that consists of more than just ideologues voting on who should and should not be stigmatized as a precondition of receiving what they need to live
If a person is going to argue in court that they can’t have a normal, decent, or happy life unless other people lose their rights (whether it’s a child’s right to have a relationship with his own real mother or a little girl’s right to not have to share the bathroom with boys), then that’s not normal or healthy.
Everyone has the right to make whatever lifestyle choices they want, but that right does not come with the right to demand that others consider themselves obliged to worry about your special needs. It can’t be both ways; it has to be one or the other: if you need accommodations, then you can’t argue that your condition is “equal”. To make such arguments is not only dishonest, but it does a major disservice to all those disabled people who are thus doubly stigmatized by the implied claim that there is something “icky” about being classed as disabled.
Mental health services originated as a promise – that people would be cured of their dysfunctions and would be helped to live better lives. It is a betrayal of that promise when mental health service providers who admit up front they don’t know how to “cure” much of anything focus instead on using their awesome authority to control and manipulate us, telling us how we ought to feel about function and dysfunction, forcing us to accept their ideological values and depriving us of our rights to self-governance and liberty, using people like Coy Mathis as mascots and meat shields who will be hurt if we do not acquiesce in their power grab.
In Creationism as a Mental Illness, Robert Rowland Smith argues that creationists exhibit several signs of mental illness including denial, psychosis, and inability to grasp irony.
The specter of mental illness does indeed loom large over creationists, but they are not alone. Signs of psychopathology can also be seen among their political bedfellows, conservative Republicans, especially when you consider a wide range of illness indicators. In his award-winning 2005 book Dr. James Whitney Hicks discusses 50 signs of mental illness including denial, delusion, hallucination, disordered thinking, anger, anti-social behavior, sexual preoccupation, grandiosity, general oddness, and paranoia….
The editors of this volume provide compelling arguments for many destructive trends in the mental health professions – most particularly, psychology, but also psychiatry and social work. They demonstrate from an insider’s perspective how activism masquerades as science in the APA, and how “diversity” has been redefined into a kind of narrow politicism, where differing worldviews are not only summarily dismissed, but the holders of such views actually punished.
The authors condemn the APA for providing forums only for their preferred worldviews. They particularly note how psychology is undermined when APA makes resolutions and public policy statements on issues for which there is little or inadequate science. Such prostitution of psychology by activist groups within APA is contributing, they say, to the profession’s demise as a scientific organization. “Psychology and mental health,” Cummings says, “have veered away from scientific integrity and open inquiry, as well as from compassionate practice in which the welfare of the patient is paramount” (p. xiii).